It is 1933. As their beat-up truck travels down a road away from her Arkansas mountain home, Molly May Dowden can only hope a better future awaits her and her parents in Thistleway, Oklahoma. They have no idea of what is about to come.
With their money safely tucked away in a mattress, the Dowdens feel hopeful as they pass through Oklahoma City. But their hopes for an improved life disintegrate a hundred miles further west when a dust storm swirls dangerously around their truck. Forced to take shelter inside a dingy cafe with a band of quirky strangers, the Dowdens soon realize that life in Oklahoma may not be as easy as they had hoped. After the family finally settles in their dilapidated tenant farmer’s two-room shanty, one hardship piles up after another as they battle spider bites, rancid water, strange rashes, severe poverty, loneliness, and death. Left with no choice but to bravely persevere through the never-ending drought and dust, Molly and her family soon discover a fortitude they never knew they had.